They say that in life, the third time is a charm. The 185 registered players for Day 1C of the 2009 PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event surely were hoping that the third and final of the Day-1 flights was their lucky charm. For more than half of them, it was just a two-day delay to a Day 1 exit. Not all had the perseverance of overnight chip leader Wei Cheng "Jacko" Chiang (124,800) or the good fortune of AsianLogic CEO Tom Hall (120,700), the player right on Chiang's heels.
Last year the APPT Macau Main Event required a HK $25,000 (~US $3,300) buy-in. The temptation of winning a tournament of that magnitude drew 538 runners, all bested by Californian Eddy Sabat. This year, when the 185 Day-1C players were added to their Day-1A and Day-1B counterparts, they created a combined field of 429 players, a slight decrease from the previous year. However, that decrease was more than offset by the fact that the buy-in was increased by more than 50% this year, to HK $40,000 (~US $5,100), making the APPT Macau Main Event the richest tournament in Asia for the second year in a row.
As they tend to do, the last of the Day-1 flights drew the largest crowd with the most notable faces. Many had less-than-exemplary days. Chino Rheem made an early exit. He was later followed by fellow Poker Packer J.C. Tran, young gun Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Team PokerStars Pro Lee "Final Table" Nelson. David Saab and Carter Gill, two of the most talkative players on the circuit, found themselves sharing a table and trading jabs during the middle of the day, but only Saab would make it through to Day 2.
For much of the day, relative unknown Sida Yuen and well-known Theo Tran were competing for the chip lead. Each flirted with 100,000 in chips a few times before dropping back toward the middle of the pack late in the day. Instead, Tom Hall, beneficiary of a three-way all-in, was the first player across the century mark. It seemed that he would power all the way through the end of the day as the chip leader but on the very last hand of the night, Chiang, a Taiwanese poker personality, overtook him to claim that title.
Tomorrow Chiang, Hall and the rest of the Day-1C survivors – including the brothers Hachem, Joe and Tony; the ever-dangerous and newly red-haired Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier; the aforementioned Saab; and Singaporean Josh Pang Ang – will combine with the survivors from Days 1A and 1B into a field of just fewer than 200 players for Day-2 action. Those survivors will all be chasing Day 1B leader Kristoffer Myhre, who will have 183,400 chips in front of him when the players sit down at noon local time for Level 8, 500/1,000 blinds, with a 100 ante.
There's plenty of action left in this event and a heap of notables vying for the six-figure check that comes with being crowned Champion.
Follow it all as it happens on the PokerNews Live Reporting page.